10, 000 Reasons Why Celibacy is Sheer Agony

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Celibacy, by shooeygooey

People like Meagan Good (and the Jonas Brothers?) made celibacy look cool, but you and I both know that it is so hard! And here are the reasons why:

##1 People think you’re crazy.

University was a major eye-opener for me. Everyone was having sex. Picking someone up at the club for a one-night stand wasn’t weird and if you had a boyfriend then obviously you were sleeping together. When you reach a certain age, being the celibate one or the virgin seems crazy and weird. But hey, dead fish go with the flow.

#2 You’re constantly assaulted by images of almost-naked women and men.

There’s a TV show that’s dedicated to showing women in bikinis washing cars, even running marathon episodes- why?! On TV, online, on billboards, in magazines – sex sells and it is everywhere. Keeping your mind free of lustful thoughts is near impossible.

#3 You feel panicked at the thought of being within five metres of your crush.

Someone must invent a word for that thing where your eyes are involuntary drawn to someone who is across the room, especially when you’re pretending that you’re completely oblivious to their presence. It’s infuriating. Social contact with super-hot humans really does damage to your powers of resistance.

#4 You have regular occasional meltdowns in private.

You’re at a wedding. Your buddy and her beau just made their vows to each other – beautiful. You excuse yourself just after the best man’s speech to go to the bathroom. As you look down to wash your hands you see just how un-ringed your ring finger looks. And just like that something is in your eye and you’re sniveling and trying not to go into the ugly cry.

#5 Sermons about sexual sin feel like they’re targeted at you.

You know that you know that you know that there is no way that the Pastor could know the temptation that you’re facing right now. But why does it feel like he’s been looking straight at you the whole time and saying everything that you needed to hear? You can’t say ‘Amen’ lest you sound too interested in the topic, you can’t be too quiet cause that’s really suspicious.

#6 You’re the victim of “He wants to be a priest/ she wants to be a nun” jokes.

Chastity has it’s benefits – zero risk of: STIs, pregnancy or the kind of false intimacy that having sex with someone you’re not in a legal commitment with can create. But people have a way of making you feel like a fool (at best) or a religious fanatic (at worst) for choosing not have mind-blowingly awesome sex with the person you’re married to.

#7 Your spirit fails you at the thought that Armageddon could come before you’ve done the deed.

*Bloodcurdling scream*

#8 You worry that God will call you to a lifetime of singleness.

People keep their money in savings accounts because of the interest that they’ll earn from it. Suffer now, profit later. The one thing that makes celibacy bearable is the faith that one day, one sweet day, you’re going to hit the jackpot baby! And the one gift that you never want to find under the Christmas tree is the gift of singleness.

#9 You have to endure the embarrassment of people talking about their sex lives.

If you want to avoid getting caught in the crossfire, stay away from: elderly humans, drunk humans and humans at bachelor parties/ bridal showers. Things get awkward when people start sharing their battle stories and friendly tips. Note: Bridal showers and bachelor parties are particularly hazardous given the presence of elderly and drunk humans all in one place.

#10 You dread the thought of having to reveal your behind the scenes footage.

To stay celibate you need accountability partners. Accountability requires two things: courage and vulnerability. You need people’s help to keep you from compromising. It takes courage and vulnerability to confess your struggles to God and to people you trust. The fact that you know it’s good for doesn’t make it any easier.

These are 10 reasons and I bet you could add 9, 990 of your own. If celibacy is sheer agony then why do we punish ourselves? Why not just let go and let flow, no strings attached? I see here’s a mystery hidden in the answer to this question:

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed in us.

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8: 18- 23

Bondage to Decay and Hope of Freedom

No doubt, choosing celibacy in obedience to God comes with its own form of “suffering” and “groaning”. But we need to begin to see it in its larger context and find our place in the spectacular tapestry of redemption that God is weaving. This verse reveals the tension between our bondage to decay and our hope of freedom and glory. Our physical bodies are corrupted and yet we subdue them in anticipation of the freedom that awaits us. 

As you wait in hope, remember this:

But hope that is seen is not hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8: 24-25

Wait patiently.

Thanks for reading.



Shula

TCT :: “Let’s get physical!” and other spiritual songs you don’t sing before communion

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“All of me, loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.” John Legend

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Apparently pomegranate juice has similar effects as viagra?

It’s my favourite day of the week – Trench Coat Thursday! I’m excited, judging by the number of views on these TCT posts, you love TCT too!

I have not been great at keeping up with the latest songs but I did some catching up over the holidays. A song that I have come to really like is John Legend’s “All of Me”, he sings it beautifully. His wife of a few months, Chrissy Teigen, stars in the music video and it features some very intimate scenes between them, including one where they are both in the shower.

If you’ve seen it, which one of these are your thoughts on the video?
Aww, they’re so cute together!

Whoa, he’s/she’s hot…

Dude, get a room!

All three of those crossed my mind but the one I’ve settled on now is something along the lines of: oh my goodness, God, when I get married I want THAT! I feel the same way when I listen to songs by Alicia Keys or even Justin Timberlake when they get to singing about this stuff. It’s not the crude songs about sex that are appealing, but the ones that talk about more than that, the relational aspect: the beauty, passion, devotion, even the pain. A part of me feels bad about feeling that way because, well,  the songs aren’t godly and neither are the singers.

But why does that music stir something in our hearts? Why is John Legend’s song so profound, speaking of more than the physical, sounding almost spiritual?

“The sweet, fragrant curves of your body, the soft, spiced contours of your flesh
Invite me, and I come, I stay until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.
You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.” 

Wow. More words from another love song:

“He’s one in a million. There’s no one quite like him…
His eyes are like doves, soft and bright, but deep set, brimming with meaning, like wells of water…
His voice, his words, warm and reassuring.
Fine muscles ripple beneath his skin, quiet and beautiful.”

Quiet and beautiful… When my friends and I first heard these words out of a Mills and Boons novel ,a Cosmo mag, a Maxwell song, the Bible, we had to sit down for a little bit and just breathe.

When I get that feeling I want sexual meaning.

The reference for those is Song of Songs 4 and 5 in the Message Bible. The fact that sexual passion is in the Bible gives us a clue to the fact that sex means something to God. And if we were created in His likeness then it ought to mean the same thing to us, right?

In his book Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, John Piper talks about how God’s relationship with His people is described using “sexual metaphors” (my term). Yes, there are the parent-child and master-servant metaphors, but very significantly, the bride-bridegroom and husband-wife ones are used in graphic detail. Ezekiel paints the picture of a woman who is found naked and vulnerable, fragile and exposed and God says “I took care of you, dressed you and protected you… You became mine.”

Sexual metaphors are also used to describe God’s people’s unfaithfulness to Him – adultery, betrayal, promiscuity – God’s anger and judgment and then His grace : “I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave nor let you go. You’ll know me, God, for who I really am.”

Every love song is a worship song.

Because whether we believe in God or not we are all living for something. It could be power, money, or sex. But sex was never meant to replace God, it was meant to point to Him:

“God created us in his image, male and female, with personhood and sexual passions, so that when he comes to us in this world there would be powerful words and images to describe the promises and pleasures of our covenant relationship with him.”

Sex is one of God’s most beautiful and meaningful ways through which we can understand God more fully.

Sexuality is not just physical, it is a spiritual act too. And we need to understand that the issues we love to talk about: virginity, premarital sex, porn, masturbation, homosexuality vs heterosexuality and adultery go beyond politicking, “religion” and even human rights. They go to the core of who God is and who He created us to be.

There is One who really did give His all to you and is worthy of you giving your all to Him.

Thanks for reading.
Shula.

References:
J Piper and J Taylor Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (2005) Crossway Books: Illinois, USA

Scriptures taken from THE MESSAGE.

How to Get The Body You’ve Always Wanted (3 Steps)

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Source: http://www.pixelperfectdigital.com/

I love Sundays. Growing up in a single-parent home my mom always tried to make Sundays special for us. No sleeping in for us though! We had to be up early in the morning, dressed in our Sunday best, ready for the service at the local Anglican church. One of my favourite memories was coming home from church to a mutton stew prepared in the slow cooker.

Are you still trying to figure out what you will be up to this Sunday? Have you considered:

Going to church.

Every Sunday millions of people go to church, for varying reasons. Some out of guilt, others to enjoy the music and even the company. I believe that the church is the place where people are meant to come and learn the truth of who God is and find relationship with Him and other people. The special thing about church is not the building but the fact that these are a group of people who radically love God and people:

“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.” AW Tozer

For those of who who are already committed to a church, invite a friend. If you would like to join a life-giving church but have no idea where you can find one, check out this church directory and find a church in a city in your city or country!

Opening your heart.

From the time that you enter those doors today, decide that you are going to open your heart to whatever it is that God wants to say to you. This does not mean you have to turn off your mind. Engage with the words of the sermon, think critically, apply the stuff to your own life, today. Do not just go just so that you can tick a box off. And do not let your past bad experiences hinder you from opening your heart today, which is a new day. Talk to someone you have not met, break out of your comfort zone, you might meet someone really cool!

Being real.

A lot of us think that to be accepted by God we need to put on our Sunday best and be something we are not. That simply is not true. Be real today at church. Do not smile when all you want to do is break down and cry, lift up your hands if you feel like it. Clap, jump up and down. Sit down. Talk like you usually talk. Be loud if you want to or be quiet. The church is the place where you should feel free to be yourself, completely. A place where you can be open about all the the things that are great about you and the stuff you are ashamed about. It is time to stop playing church and start being the church, we are not perfect people:

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Tim Keller

Jesus said something about how he came for the sick and not those who are well. We are all in need of spiritual healing, this is what Jesus gives. If you consider yourself to the worst of the worst then when you step into a church you should feel completely at home in a church!

The church is the place you have been looking for if you want real relationship and meaningful growth in your life. The body of Christ is the body you have always wanted!

Happy Sunday!

Thanks for reading.

shula.